Raza Development Fund, Inc. has taken the opportunity to work collaboratively with South Phoenix leaders, small business owners, non-profit organizations, schools, religious groups and residents over the last 5 years to support not only the preservation of the community’s interests and culture but to ensure that community members thrive, and benefit from opportunities and changes associated with the light rail extension. The engagement, commitment, and level of collaboration have been unprecedented. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and believe that South Phoenix is stronger because of it.

For the past few weeks, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused massive disruption to our communities. The pandemic has resulted in a global crisis with the United States now being the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world. This crisis has caused millions of people to lose their jobs in the United States, and many of our small businesses are suffering loss of income and facing the risk of imminent closure. As always, and particularly at this time of crisis, RDF is committed to serving low income communities and is stepping up its assistance to those who will be disproportionately affected. We are launching the COVID-19 Hope Fund with the initial support of Wells Fargo Bank, to provide emergency grant funding to small businesses in South Phoenix so they can be sustained while funds from federal government and SBA arrive to the community.

The fund will be disbursed in the amounts of $3,000 to $10,000 for small businesses so they can continue to operate during this crisis by providing some working capital to support their current employees and operating costs.

In addition, the Hope Fund team will provide technical assistance to guide recipients through the applications for the SBA Economic Injury Loan and the SBA guaranteed loans from the paycheck protection program.


  • Small business has operated in South Phoenix, with priority given to legacy businesses.
  • Small business with up to 5 employees, with priority given to those that employ South Phoenix residents.
  • Small business plans on staying in the community during and after the light rail expansion.
  • The small business owner has demonstrated a commitment of being involved in community efforts.

If you do not have access to complete an application online, please contact one of the RDF Ambassadors to receive a hard copy:

RDF Ambassadors:

Petra Falcon, Promise Arizona (PAZ) - (520) 360-6128
Victor Vidales, ReMax - (602) 617-8293
Armando Ruiz – Espíritu Schools - (602) 725-5129
Shannon Scutari, Scutari & Co., LLC - (602) 385-8035

RDF Staff:

Melissa McDonald, COO – (602) 417-1421
Rodrigo Vela, CFO – (602) 417-1403
Lupe Gomez, Dir. Small Business Initiatives - (602) 417-1407